Tuesday, October 3, 2023


RV DIY Project: Tow vehicle water storage for boondocking

By Cheri Sicard
If you are a boondocker, you know that having enough water along can be a challenge.

Tony and Tina from TNT RVing are about to upgrade their water storage system for boondocking in the video below.

The couple used to travel with a bunch of filled 5- and 6-gallon water containers, but this year they wanted to make life easier. Either way, it still comes down to tow vehicle water storage, but in a far more efficient way.

What did they do? They installed a 65-gallon water tank in the front part of their pickup truck’s bed.

Tony found a company called Class A Customs that makes water tanks. He sent them his preferred dimensions and they recommended tanks that would accommodate them. The cost of such a tank? $189 delivered.

Be sure to watch the video as Tony shows how he accomplished this DIY project so that he could fill his RV’s fresh water tank from the extra tank in the tow vehicle.

What else did he need besides the tank?

  • Pentair Shurflo water pump
  • Two hoses: A blue water hose and a white drinking water hose
  • Various fittings—check out the video for details
  • Teflon plumber’s tape

Watch the video for how he put it all together, both the system itself and the secure installation in the truck. The end product was a secure installation and lots of extra water when boondocking off-grid.

One thing they did not mention in the video but should have is the weight of the water and the cargo-carrying capacity of the truck. Water is heavy (approximately 8.34 pounds per gallon). Therefore, before you think about a project like this, be sure your vehicle can handle the extra cargo weight.



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Seann Fox
3 months ago

I have been using a bladder made for drinking water, from Amazon, the one I got is 60 gallons and I can fold it up to a 12x12x4″ package. This takes up much less space in the truckbed when traveling, Infact I can store it in the cargo area of my trailer. Then using an old RV water pump to transfer it from the bed of the truck to the trailer this has been working well for me for almost 15 years.

Neal Davis
3 months ago

Thank you, Cheri!

3 months ago

I used an inflatable full size air bed and a few attachments from the plumbing dept to haul 75 gallons of water in the back of my truck. I also carried a 5 gallon jug for my drinking water. All told, my setup cost about $30. Bought new mattress annually, $15 at Walmart.

3 months ago
Reply to  Alpenliter

Can you share specifics parts and details? I wanted to use an old air bed I had on hand but the plumbing to adapt the air mattress fitting to garden hose thread stumped me…

3 months ago

There is an even better way to carry water that I’ve been using for the last 12 years of fulltiming. The company that makes the blue water bladders for Camping World also makes custom bladders. I ordered an 85 gal custom bladder to fill the space in front of my 5th wheel hitch. I ordered a thicker 30 mil vinyl & had the fill & empty spouts placed where I wanted them. It only cost me $160 & has worked flawlessly for the last 12 years. The company is New World Mfg. in Cloverdale, CA. I only use it about a dozen times a year, so the rest of the time it folds up into a bundle 18″x18″x3″ & stores behind the rear seats in my F350 crew cab dually where it’s instantly available any time I need it. The extra water weight is not a problem because I rarely used it when towing, only when boondocking long term & not wanting to hook up to go dump & fill. I also have a 35 gal waste tote, a built- in macerator & an electric water pump from Harbor Freight.

Last edited 3 months ago by Fred
Cheri Sicard
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Excellent idea Fred, thank you for sharing.

3 months ago

The suggestion is a good way to carry more water. However, adding 65 gallons of water adds almost 600lbs to the GCWR.

Bob P
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob

At least with it mounted in the front of the bed the weight will be carried by the front axle also instead of just the rear axle. And the 3/4T truck won’t have any problems carrying that weight. Instead of the drinking water hose used for the vent if it were me I would’ve used a 3/8” tubing run down through the bed drain hole at the front corner of the bed. That would save considerably on $$ and labor.

Cheri Sicard
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob

I imagine they would fill up right before going to the boondocking spot where they won’t be moving. At least that is how I would use this. And Bob P is right about the truck and where it is being carried. But if you have a smaller rig, yes you need to pay attention to the weight of the water.

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